Persona October, 25th 2021 by

Morning Riff - By Mara Lemanis


Morning Riff

What is it when
the words you hear march
through your morning light
and turn your first-born seedlings
into tinder
and make crusts that form
a rust ring round your heart;

What is it when
the words you hear
make magnets for your
firstborn loves
and sweep into debris
whatever does not hold
whatever was first dropped
and left to die unloved;

What is it when
the words you hear
are like the choked sound
of a body caught in tar
or sounds that ring
like hammers
striking down whatever
never must be loved;

What is it then
when all the mornings
of the world
ring out at once
but you hear just a chant
indelible, incessant
like bagpipes in the rain
or trumpets scraping wind on glass
or zithers trembling down a lonely scale…

They make a riff
that binds you
to the sounds first heard
the words that trained your thought
like manacles
and played your love
against the mornings
of the world.


Mara Lemanis





Mara Lemanis

Biography: Mara Lemanis is a literary scholar. Her essays have been selected for 20th CENTURY LITERARY CRITICISM and are included in undergraduate student textbooks in the U.S.

She has worked as an archivist for Historical Preservation and with the IRC, assisting refugees in Oakland, California. 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest article are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Marbella Marbella website. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with the author.


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